Clara Wainwright is the Honorary Chair of 2013 Art BINGO. She has placed 16 fabric collages and quilts through The Art Connection. Her fabric art is beautiful and serves to tell stories of people from all walks of life. Clara is most known for being the Founding Mother of Boston’s First Night.
Clara’s artistic achievements have lifted spirits and touched the lives of people around the world. As the founder and artistic director of First Night, Boston’s New Years Eve celebration of the arts, she and her friends created an event which put the arts, not alcohol, at the heart of a New Years Eve celebration. First Night Boston inspired more than 200 cities internationally to start their own First Night celebrations.
Clara began donating to The Art Connection in 2007. Her thoughtful and vibrant works with fabric were selected by a range of agencies, from community health centers, housing for seniors, alcohol rehabilitation sites, and homeless support programs. It seems so fitting that Clara’s works would find homes in such a diverse array of agencies, as she has spent much of her career using her fabric art to tell stories within diverse communities, often ones whose stories are seldom sought, including Gloucester fishermen’s wives, immigrants to the United States, and teenagers. She has worked with over 50 communities, stitching with them, and helping them tell their stories.
The work shown at left, “Buddha’s Cloak,” is a large quilt (86″x75″) that has been hanging at Youville House Assisted Living in Cambridge since March 2008. It continues to be a source of joy for the residents and their guests as well as the staff. “There is not one person who goes through our atruim who does not make a comment about Clara Wainwright’s art,” says Ms. Ildiko Szabo, Youville House’s Director of Community Life. Read more about this placement here.
Clara was a 1999 Recipient of a Commonwealth Award, which is presented in the state of Massachusetts every two years and is considered the highest honor in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences.
Her work is in permanent collections in institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. Hear Clara on WBUR’s series “Visionaries” here.
Clara has generously donated two of her fabric art pillow covers to our Silent Auction; including one that depicts the image of The Art Connection’s founder, Fay Chandler!
Come to Art BINGO 2013 to meet Clara– you may take home one of her very special fabric works of art.